International freedom of movement has been pervasively compressed in the global response to COVID-19. Going against the World Health Organization’s recommendations, almost all countries around the world adopted some form of travel restriction. Most countries imposed a ban on foreign travellers, with some States even closing borders to their own nationals and residents or prohibiting them from leaving. While border control is a legitimate prerogative that States can use to assess the health condition of travellers, travel restrictions are more complex and raise intricate legal questions. Some measures that were adopted in the name of public health seem hard (if not impossible) to justify. This seminar examines the validity of such measures under two international legal frameworks: the International Health Regulations and human rights law. International law has long played a fundamental role in fostering cooperation among nations to strike a delicate equilibrium between public health and international mobility. However, COVID-19 seems to be just the latest episode in a saga of non-compliance, testing the authority and effectiveness of international law mechanisms in addressing the challenges raised by infectious diseases.
About the speaker: Prof. Fernando Dias Simões
Register here by 12noon, 5 April 2021 to attend the seminar.